England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 1st day July 6, 2017

Joe Root's stunning captaincy debut

The opening day of the England-South Africa series belonged to Joe Root, who strode to new highs on his captaincy debut

Joe Root has become the sixth England batsman to score a Test hundred on captaincy debut © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

6 England captains who have scored Test hundreds on captaincy debut, including each of the last four. Before Joe Root's unbeaten 184, Alastair Cook started his captaincy tenure with 173 against Bangladesh, while Kevin Pietersen scored 100 against South Africa, and Andrew Strauss made 128 against Pakistan, also at Lord's. The other England captains to achieve this feat are Allan Lamb (119 against West Indies in 1990), and Archie MacLaren (109 against Australia in 1897). Root's 184 not out is the highest among these six scores.

3 Batsmen who have made higher scores in their first Test as captain: Graham Dowling (239), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (203 not out), and Clem Hill (191). Root also joins Virat Kohli (115 and 141) and Steven Smith (133) among captains who have scored hundreds on captaincy debut. Kane Williamson, the other member of the fab four club, scored 91 in his first Test as captain (and followed with 113 in his second).

81.42 Root's Test average versus South Africa: in nine innings against them he has passed 50 five times, including two hundreds.

118 Runs that Root scored off Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada, off 126 balls. Eighteen of his 26 fours, as well as his only six, came against them. Against Vernon Philander, he scored only 12 off 30 balls.

Joe Root against South Africa's bowlers
Bowler Runs Balls 4s 6s
 KA Maharaj  60  64  7  1
 K Rabada  58  62  11  0
 M Morkel  29  51  3  0
 TB de Bruyn  19  11  3  0
 VD Philander  12  30  2  0
 T Bavuma  6  9  0  0

17 Innings for Root to complete 1000 Test runs at Lord's, which makes him the fastest to the landmark among the nine batsmen who have made 1000-plus runs here. The previous fastest was Strauss' 19 innings. In these 17 innings, Root averages 69.26, and each of his three hundreds here have been 175-plus scores.

6 Instances of England putting together century stands for their fifth and sixth wickets in a Test innings. The previous such instance was in Barbados in 2009. The five earlier matches have all been drawn, though.

4 Century stands between Root and Moeen Ali in Tests; against all other partners, Moeen has only three century stands - one each with Cook, Bairstow and Buttler.

3 Century stands between Root and Ben Stokes, including two at Lord's: against New Zealand in 2015, the same pair came together at 30 for 4 and were separated at 191 for 5. Today, they came together at 76 for 4, and were separated at 190.

13 Wickets off no-balls for Morne Morkel in his Test career, including the dismissal of Ben Stokes today. He had also dismissed Root off a no-ball in Cape Town in 2016.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dave on July 7, 2017, 8:48 GMT

    @masking tape. He woke up with a stinking cold - which makes his innings (albeit fortuitous at times) all the more remarkable.

  • AUSTIN on July 7, 2017, 4:08 GMT

    So, now the Fab Four (Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson) have taken a leadership of their respective Countries.. It willl be interesting to see, how good Leaders they are...

  • Navin on July 7, 2017, 3:13 GMT

    Congratulations to Joe Roots for a fantastic debut. He may go on to score double or triple hundred and then win the test match. Lets hope he goes on to become a most successful captain for England. Root, Kohli, Smith and Kane Williamson are defining a new era of cricket, great batsman leading their side. All are at the top of their game, may they continue to break all records.

  • Hussain on July 6, 2017, 22:57 GMT

    13 wickets off no-balls...Wow, that is a sin in any format of the game. So surprising that even after so much of technology available, the best of coaching etc bowlers can not keep their foot behind the line. And for a spinner to do is an absolute sin! It will be interesting to see how many runs did all those batsmen score after they were reprieved by Morkel!

  • Dik on July 6, 2017, 19:08 GMT

    He should've been out at 1, at 18, and 149. He woke up on the right side of the bed!

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